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Bill Clark promotes Hindley Bingham to RBs coach at UAB

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As UAB football continues preparations for its return, Bill Clark has tweaked his Blazers coaching staff.

In a press release, the football program announced that Hindley Brigham has been promoted to running backs coach.  A former Baylor and Furman running back, Brigham had served as an offensive analyst for Clark since 2016.

This will be Brigham’s first on-field role at the collegiate level.

“We are really excited to have Hindley move into our running backs position,” said Clark in a statement. “He was an outstanding running back in his own right and relates to our players. He brings toughness and tenacity along with being a very good student in college himself. He is going to help us in the running backs room and will be a terrific recruiter as well.”

Brigham will replace Randy Pippin, who will move into the role of Director of Player Relations for the football program.  Pippin had served as running backs coach since 2015.

“Coaching retention is critical to the success of our football program and these adjustments will assist in those efforts moving forward,” the head coach said. “Our coaches have done a tremendous job keeping our players focused and motivated for two years now without playing a game, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the consistency and hard work of the entire staff.”

Star RB from ‘Last Chance U’ leaving UAB

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D.J. Law‘s time as a member of the UAB football program is over before it really got started.

Head coach Bill Clark confirmed to al.com that Law will not be playing football for the Blazers in 2017.  A combination of academic issues as well as a lingering knee injury are behind the parting of ways.

According to Clark, the running back will be looking to continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere.

“I think his knee is going to be in good shape,” said the coach. “He came in here behind the 8-ball academically. He’s done a solid job. He really just had a lot to overcome. I think we got his knee well, so we’re trying to make a decision. Is it NAIA or Canada?

“He’s our guy, and we’re going to stay with him.”

Law is most famous as one of the central figures in the Netflix documentary “Last Chance U,” which told the compelling story of the football team at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, MS.  Coming out of the junior college ranks, Law held offers from Louisville, Ole Miss and West Virginia before signing with UAB in February of last year.

Art Briles resurfaces at coaching clinic, hints at coaching another decade

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Disgraced ex-Baylor coach Art Briles is back in the news.

AL.com reports that Briles was, for some reason, invited to the Birmingham Football Coaching Clinic by UAB coaches to speak to high school coaches in a session titled, “Making Concepts Into Themes.”

When approached by a reporter afterword, Briles declined any questions about the sprawling sexual assault scandal in Waco that led to his ouster (citing an agreement with Baylor). What he did talk about however, was getting back into the game of football and possibly coaching another decade or more at some level.

“It might be as a volunteer, or it might be as a consultant,” Briles said. “There are a lot of different opportunities, but we’ll just have to see if that’s what it leads to. This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever been open and free because I started coaching before I graduated college.”

Biles was connected to openings this offseason as diverse as the Auburn offensive coordinator gig to various Group of Five jobs to his old stomping ground at Houston. While he did spend a little time with some NFL teams last year, the former Baylor coach remains unemployed in any formal capacity.

Given that the Baylor scandal continues to unfold and there are still numerous lawsuits relating to the matter still set to make their way through the courts, it seems difficult to imagine a college giving Briles an opportunity anytime soon. That’s not to say he couldn’t wind up as some sort of analyst, offensive consultant or even a high school coach somewhere desperate to win games.

This coaching clinic appearance was no accident and probably the latest step in Briles’ rehab tour. Hopefully though, it will be the last time his name appears in a headline for the foreseeable future.

Independents and Group of Five National Signing Day Recap: Irish bounce back, Memphis tops AAC

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Outside of the Power Five conferences, recruiting went about as expected in 2017.

Notre Dame continued to pound the national trail and landed a top 12 class full of players who will be expected to play early. BYU managed another impressive group that was one of the most diverse out there. The schools with a talent-rich backyard to draw on did well in the AAC.  Boise State was once again tops in the Mountain West and did better than a few peers in the region. And yes, Lane Kiffin earned that recruiting reputation by pulling in the best class of Conference USA.

Though there wasn’t much drama outside the top schools, there nevertheless was plenty of action for many programs on National Signing Day.

Top recruits (all rankings via 247Sports Composite): No. 67 overall Brock Wright (TE, Notre Dame), No. 154 overall Chaz Ah You (DB, BYU), Aisa Kelemete (DE, Boise State), Nick Robinson (TE, Memphis), Nicholas Sims (RB, Toledo)

Top classes: Notre Dame (No. 11 overall), Memphis (No. 58 overall), Boise State (No. 60 overall), BYU (No. 65 overall), Florida Atlantic (No. 71 overall), Toledo (No. 74 overall), Texas State (No. 87 overall)

Biggest storyline: Irish still land solid recruiting class

Despite the worst season in South Bend since Charlie Weis and a nearly brand new coaching staff, Notre Dame still managed to cobble together a top 12 class on Signing Day. Tight end Brock Wright was the highest rated player and should see early playing time but the number of quality offensive linemen was really evident in the group Brian Kelly signed. Will it be enough to help with a big turnaround? We’ll see.

Biggest surprise: Memphis runs away with things in the AAC but new coaches still fared well

Given all the turnover in the American this year, it should probably come as no surprise that the Tigers pulled the top recruiting class in the conference. That’s a testament to what Mike Norvell is building with the program and the fact that they don’t have to go far for players. Many of the same factors played a role in Scott Frost landing the second-best class at UCF. It was also pretty impressive what Luke Fickell did on the recruiting trail at Cincinnati and Charlie Strong did at USF given those two didn’t have a ton of time to get things lined up.

Don’t sleep on: Boise State, Colorado State

The Broncos were once again the class of the Mountain West on the recruiting trail and fended off several Pac-12 schools for prospects. That will put them firmly in the mix to win the league again in 2017 but don’t overlook another good job by Mike Bobo and staff at Colorado State in landing 17 three-star players.

We’ll see about: Everybody else

UAB and South Alabama schedule home-and-home for 2019-2020

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As UAB works to make their return to college football, there is also the business of securing future football games. On Friday, the Blazers added two more future games against an in-state opponent, South Alabama. The two schools in Alabama announced a future home-and-home series to be played in 2019 and 2020.

UAB will host South Alabama on September 21, 2019. South Alabama will be the home team the following season, on September 26, 2020.

The two schools were originally slated to play a series in 2015 and 2016, but UAB’s decision to shut the football program down forced a cancellation in the series and led to South Alabama looking for other ways to fill the gaps on the schedule. As a result, South Alabama landed a two-game series with San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference, which turned in to two victories for the South Alabama program. Last weekend’s victory over the Aztecs was the first against a top 25 program in South Alabama program history. Once UAB reversed course on the decision to shut the football program down, it was expected to be only a matter of time before UAB and South Alabama could put together new plans for an upcoming series.

UAB will return to the football field in 2017, at which time they will rejoin Conference USA and retain their full FBS status.